On December 13th, our Director of Music and Organist, Adam Detzner, will present Christ Church's December Organ Recital from the choir loft of New Brick. A selection of works from J.S. Bach and Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck will be performed on our church organ, and we invite you to view the program here and watch Adam's performance on our website, Facebook, or YouTube page at 5:00 p.m.
I have only been admitted to one European organ competition, in Saxony in 2017, where I did not make it past the first round. But it was still an unforgettable experience. I played three eighteenth-century Baroque organs, experiencing the feelings and sounds that composers like Bach might have enjoyed. I attended a number of concerts by the competition’s jury members and others, including a few very famous organists. I visited Leipzig and saw Bach’s tomb, outside the Thomaskirche where he served as Cantor; I visited Dresden and saw the opulent Zwinger palace complex, including the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, an art gallery absolutely stuffed with masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. I met a number of young organists from around the world, communicating almost exclusively in German. At that time it was also election season in Germany, so I saw some interesting political ads and demonstrations.
Some say that the hardest part of these competitions is getting in. They require an audio CD or MP3 file as part of the “pre-recorded round.” On the one hand, these recordings have to be more or less “note-perfect;” on the other hand, they can’t sound too “careful.” The juries for these prerecorded rounds listen to a hundred or more recordings of the same two or three pieces – how does one stand out?
For my monthly organ recital next Sunday evening, I am going to play some of the music for the prerecorded and live rounds of these competitions. You may recognize some of it as preludes and postludes from the past year, but I hope there’s been some improvement! There will be a program with some notes on the music, communicated electronically, and located in the recital’s Facebook feed. I invite you to tune in at 5 p.m. on December 13th
Director of Music